Taste the icons of Italia, from canals to clifftop villages

How long does it take to fall in love? In a country where history spills from the world-class museums and on to the streets, where tiny osterias serve up life-changing pasta and sumptuous architecture sits on canals and perched on cliffs, we think eight days can easily do the trick. Discover the best of Italy on this highlights tour. Begin amid the canals of Venice, hike through the charming towns of the Cinque Terre, soak up beauty and history in Florence and wind up in the piazzas of Rome. With plenty of free time for independent exploration and the freedom to discover Italy's history and culture at your own pace, there's no better way to see this wonderful pocket of Europe.


Start
Venice, Italy
Finish
Rome, Italy
Destination
Italy
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
ZMRR
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Explore rock rocky coastal pathways and pastel-coloured villages with a Cinque Terre day pass that allows you to hike at your leisure and use the coast's public transport.

  • Get lost in the floating city of Venice and wander the city's maze of alleyways, canals and lagoon islands, and choose whether to enjoy an optional gondola ride.

  • Spend two days in Florence, a city known for its beauty and rustic Tuscan cuisine, and choose to discover the cities culinary traditions on optional food excursions.

  • Squid ink spaghetti, rich Tuscan soups, a slice of pizza eaten while you gaze on centuries-old architecture – the food culture in Italy is intoxicating.

  • Discover the landmarks of Rome with your leader and wander around the Colosseum, Arch of Constantine, the Forum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, Via Dei Condotti and more.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a Basix-style trip full of fun, flexibility and plenty of free time to explore each destination at your own pace. Your local leader will take you on regular orientation walks, so you'll be on your feet quite a lot. While this may be tiring for some, it’s the best way to get your head around a place and to set yourself up for further discoveries.

  • It’s bunking season! As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, solo travellers will share a room with other travellers of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it! Please note that a single supplement is not available on this trip. Space is at a premium in Europe and your hotel is no exception. For those travelling as a duo, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together. In some cases, bathroom facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.

  • Summer temperatures reach over 40°C in Italy during summer. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water. Please keep in mind that many European hotel rooms are not equipped with air-conditioning and consider the time of the year you wish to travel.

  • Less time spent travelling, more time to explore each destination! The primary means of transportation on this trip is train. Trains are a fast way to cross long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. They are comfortable and all have toilets, however, can sometimes be quite busy. Please note that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find specifics under ‘Packing’ in the ‘Essential trip information’ section.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2019 to 28 Oct 2019.
View the 2020 itinerary
Welcome to Venice! This watery wonderland of bridges, towers, piazzas, canals, churches and gondolas – practically unchanged for 600 years – is literally sinking under the weight of its iconic sights. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early and with time to spare the Grand Canal is a great place to start, as you can stroll over the Rialto Bridge and browse the endless amounts of boutique shops that sell Venetian masks and handmade Murano glassware. After tonight's group meeting perhaps enjoy an optional dinner with your fellow travel companions at a local restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Gondola Ride - EUR80
  • Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs - EUR20
  • Guggenheim Museum - EUR15
  • St Mark's Campanile - EUR8
  • St Mark's Basilica Treasury - EUR5
  • Accademia Gallery - EUR15
  • Venezia Ca' d'Oro - EUR14
  • Ca' Rezzonico Museum of Eighteenth Century Art - EUR10
  • Glass Museum Murano - EUR10
  • Museum of St Mark's Basilica - EUR5
  • Scuola Grande di San Rocco - EUR11
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Today you are free to explore Venice at your own pace. There are only two ways to get around this city – on foot or by boat. Some of the more popular sights include Doge's Palace, the Piazza and Basilica di San Marco and the Bridge of Sighs. Maybe take the vaporetto (water bus) over to the island of San Giorgio to climb the bell tower for views over the city. Or perhaps fulfil a bucket list favourite and take journey down the Grand Canal in a Venetian gondola. It really is the perfect way for visitors to see the major canal routes from an immersive perspective. Venice is famous for its specialities of fresh lobster and squid ink spaghetti dishes, so perhaps give one of them a try this evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventures - Canal & Aperitivo Experience - EUR113
  • Urban Adventures - Chicchetti of Venice - EUR80
  • Urban Adventures - Sweet Taste of Venice - EUR52
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Board a morning train to the once important naval base of La Spezia (approximately 6—7 hours) through the scenic north of Italy. La Spezia is known mainly as the gateway to the gorgeous Cinque Terre (Five Lands). The name comes from the five tiny villages – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore – positioned on a series of coves between sheer cliffs. On arrival in La Spezia there won't be too much time to explore (that’s what tomorrow is for), but after checking into your hotel perhaps get your bearings with a short walk around the pedestrian zone on Via del Prione or head out for dinner with the group.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Spend today exploring winding footpaths and pastel coloured villages with your included Cinque Terre Pass. The pass gives you access to the paths, bathrooms and trains of the area for 24 hours. Please consult your leader on which section is right for you as some have challenging uphill stretches, narrow paths, steep cliffs and foot bridges. It's also possible to take the train between any of the villages, or back to the group's base in La Spezia whenever you want. After working up an appetite, maybe take advantage of an optional pesto class. Focaccia is also a speciality in this area and makes a great start to lunch, if you’d prefer.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • 'Il Laboratorio del Pesto' Making & Demonstration - EUR15
  • Cinque Terre Day Trip, including Cinque Terre Pass - EUR16
  • Cinque Terre Cruise - EUR30
  • Urban Adventures - Cinque Terre Hike & Bite - EUR139
  • Urban Adventures - Tasting Cinque Terre - EUR89
  • Urban Adventures - Cinque Terre This is Aperitivo - EUR79
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please remember to bring comfortable footwear such as trainers or light hiking shoes.

Due to recent landslides in the area it is currently not possible to walk the Via dell'Amore and the coastal section between Manarola and Corniglia. There are alternative inland routes, however these are of a higher physical rating and involve steep ups and downs. It is possible to take the train or a bus for these sections. Due to safety reasons some sections of any path can be closed at short notice.
Depart Cinque Terre today and catch a train to Florence (approximately 3.5 hours). On arrival, check into the hotel and go for a brief walk around the immediate area to get your bearings. Florence is one of the most culturally rich and beautiful cities in Italy, known to many as the beating heart of Tuscany. The Medicis, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Brunelleschi, Machiavelli, Donatello and Michelangelo all lived in Florence at the height of their creative reign. Food is a major part of the city's identity and the optional activities on offer reflect this. Maybe explore the city’s culinary history (and taste some local treats) on a Florence Foodies Walk with Urban Adventures. Carnivores might be drawn to the optional Florentine Beef Steak Dinner excursion, which offers a leisurely meal staring the bistecca alla Fiorentina, a huge T-bone steak and classic sides.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventures - Florence Foodies Walk - EUR67
  • Urban Adventures - Florence Markets & Delis - EUR58
  • Urban Adventures - Aperitivo Time! Florence Wine Tour - EUR77
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy another day in beautiful Florence. It's impossible to see everything in this Renaissance wonderland, so the best idea is to relax and pick a few things you really want to do. Maybe start with a visit the Galleria dell'Accademia where you can see Michelangelo's famous statue of David, or perhaps stop by the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries. Active types might want to walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo, which is set on a hill on the south bank of the Arno River, to take in beautiful views of the city – a lovely way to while away the day. There are plenty of optional activities on offer during your time here, so be sure to grill your leader for the details on each so you can get a sense of what interests you.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Pitti Palace - Gallery of Modern Art and Palatine Gallery - EUR8
  • Siena bus ticket - EUR24
  • Florence Baptistry, Museo Opera del Duomo, Giotto Bell Tower and Brunelleschi Dome - EUR15
  • Palazzo Vecchio - EUR10
  • Accademia - EUR16
  • Uffizi Gallery - EUR24
  • Pitti Palace (Boboli Gardens, Museo Argenti, Costume Gallery, Porcellain Museum) - EUR12
  • Baptistry - EUR10
  • Bargello Museum - EUR12
  • Medici Chapels - EUR15
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The individual Florentine State Museums have slightly different opening times and closing days between them but the website firenzemusei.it has everything you need to know about all of them, including the option to purchase tickets. We suggest that you pre-book your visit to the Uffizi, as this museum experiences enormous queues (up to 5 hours) all year round. Make your reservations for these museums for any time today.

To book an Urban Adventure in Florence go to urbanadventures.com/destination/florence-tours or speak to your booking agent.
Take the morning train to Rome (approximately 2 hours). Join your leader on an orientation walk around the city to see icons such as the Colosseum and Arch of Constantine, the Forum (centre of ancient Rome), the Victor Emmanuel Monument, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, Via Dei Condotti and Piazza Venezia. Phew. After all that history it’s probably time for lunch. Maybe grab a slice of the good stuff and a strong espresso at the Piazza Navona. You can spend your afternoon how you wish and there are plenty of heavy hitters to choose from. Maybe enter the Vatican and check out St Peter's Basilica. Art-lovers could visit the Sistine Chapel to admire the timeless work of Michelangelo, while history buffs may enjoy a jaunt through the ancient halls of the Pantheon. Rome is packed full of trattorias that cater to every taste and budget, so this evening maybe link up with the group for dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Castel Sant'Angelo - EUR10
  • Christian Catacombs - EUR8
  • Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill - EUR16
  • Imperial Fora - EUR9
  • Keats-Shelley Memorial House - EUR5
  • Vatican Museum - EUR16
  • Pantheon - EUR2
  • St Peter's Dome climb - EUR6
  • St Peter's Dome Climb & Elevator - EUR8
  • Venezia Palace - EUR5
  • Galleria Borghese - EUR15
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
There are strictly enforced dress codes that apply to those wishing to enter the churches of the Vatican City. Men must wear long trousers (no shorts) and cover their shoulders and women must cover from shoulder to below the knee.

Check the Vatican website (vatican.va) for updated information on when you can visit. Tickets for the Vatican Museum can and should be booked online at: biglietteriamusei.vatican.va. The Vatican Museum is closed on some days, including most Sundays. On the last Sunday of the month, it's open and free (but expect large crowds). Tickets for Galleria Borghese can also be booked online at galleriaborghese.it. In order to allow enough time in the museum and to avoid the crowds it is recommended to start the museum visit as doors open. Please note that pre-booked tickets are not required if you just want to visit St Peter's Basilica and the dome.
Your adventures comes to an end today. There are no activities planned and you're free to depart the accommodation at any time after check-out. As there is so much to see in Rome, we recommend you stay a little longer to soak it up. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Please speak to your agent at the time of booking.
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventures - Tasting La Dolce Vita - EUR90
  • Urban Adventures - Wine Tasting with Sommelier - EUR95
  • Urban Adventures - Pantheon One Hour Guided Tour - EUR35
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you have some more time in Rome, why not check out the day trips offered by Urban Adventures. Speak to your booking agent or go to urbanadventures.com/destination/Rome-tours for more information.

Meals

4 breakfasts

Transport

Train

Accommodation

Hotel (3 nights), Hostel (4 nights)

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is not available on this trip.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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